01 Jan Sober Resolutions
New years resolutions have always been something that I have tried to practice, only to find them short lived, lasting a week or two at best. There was never a plan on how I would be able to accomplish my resolutions and they were always pretty unrealistic based on the lifestyle that I had been living. It was just an excuse for me to tell myself that I was moving in a direction to do something positive in my life.
My resolutions for this year are realistic and are all aimed at better improving my life and growing. They include, staying sober for the year, finding a direction with what it is that I really want to do with my life, and making 20 amends. They are all achievable and this is the story of how I plan on achieving them.
Staying sober for the year, it sounds pretty simple to some but it actually takes a lot of effort. I need to remember that no matter how much time sober I have, I am not immune to my disease and that if I stop working a program, I am susceptible to relapse. So what exactly does working a program mean? What does that entail for me to do for the year of 2016? Simply put what this means is that I need to continue to attend AA meetings, work with others, and work the steps. The biggest problem that I see with so many people in AA is that they are able to stay sober for a certain period off of the fellowship of the program but they do not work hands on in the Big Book with a sponsor. I have been working very thoroughly in the the Big Book with my current sponsor and plan on continuing to do this throughout the next year. I also plan on working more hands on and in depth with the people that I take through the book. By doing these things and having a plan on what I need to do the idea of being able to stay sober for another 365 days is achievable.
I also want to find out what I want to do with my life and start gearing my efforts towards achieving this. I am 24 years old and currently a biology major halfway done with college. I was planning on attending medical school after I graduated college, and becoming a doctor working in a critical care center. While this all sounds really good on paper, I came to a realization that maybe this is not something that I really want to be doing for the rest of my life. Currently, there is so much pressure on young people to know what they want to do with there life at such a young age. Personally I find this to be an unrealistic expectation put on young adults. I realized that maybe I don’t need to be extremely wealthy to be happy, and determined that maybe I should take some time to discover what my passions are and find something that I want to do with my life that will be fulfilling. I concluded that I will be much happier doing something that I love rather than pushing myself to do something just for the money. I plan on spending a lot of time talking with counselors at school and reaching out to people about career options and trying new things that I haven’t tried before to find out what it is that I am truly passionate about.
My resolution of making 20 amends this year goes hand in hand with my first resolution. Basically by making amends I will be able to clear up some of the wreckage of my past. The amends are something that not too many people complete in a timely manner, and I see a lot of people sit on this process. I have had the opportunity to make some amends to people and the experiences I have been able to have as a result is unparalleled to any other feeling. After making amends I become excited, grateful, and I can use this sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that I used to only be able to feel as a result of using drugs and alcohol. My plan on being able to make these amends is to shoot for making 2 per month for the year. That is a realistic goal that can be easily achieved if I lay out a plan in order, and put in the due diligence of reaching out to people and putting myself in contact with them to set up the process. I have seen too many people sit around and not make their amends for a long time after they get sober and I do not want to allow that to be my experience.
These are my new years resolutions and I feel that they are all achievable and will give me the ability to live a stronger healthier life. They are geared towards both self improvement, and improving my relations with others.
-Matt L., New Life House alumni